Hello. I'm a first time cruiser and I'm putting aside my tip money by the guidelines outlined in RCI's literature. HOWEVER... on our first night on Voyager, we cannot board the ship before 6pm. Therefore, RCI says there is no dining room seating that night.
So...... am I still expected to tip wait staff for the number of days we're on the ship and having meals? We will be served Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday by the wait staff. We return at 8am on Friday.. so there's no dining room then either.
I don't mind tipping at all, but if their guideline is "Per day" am I supposed to tip on days when the wait staff won't be interacting with us?
I know it's different for the room steward, who will be working every single day.
Thomas is correct. You need to figure tipping for everyday you are on the cruise.
Mary Lou Scanlon
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How about if we're eating dinner in one of the specialty restaurants and not in the dining room. We are expected to pay a $20-25 premium plus tip in the specialty restaurant - does the dining room staff get tipped for that night even though we are not eating there?
Also - and I'm really not being cheap here, we always tip more than is suggested - regarding the first night. I'm also on that 5-day cruise where dinner in the dining room is not being served the first night because we can't board until 6 p.m. Does the waitestaff pool its tips? I didn't think so and, if not, why would I tip the diningroom staff if I'm eating in the buffet?
That's a good question! I'm not sure if it is standard protocol to tip the main dining room staff for the night you are eating in the specialty restaurant, since you will be tipping there as well. My suspicions would be that it is standard protocol to tip the main dining room staff that night as well.
The reason you tip the dining room staff even if you eat in the buffet is twofold.
1) The dining room staff is on duty to serve you whenever you walk into the main dining room. They will be standing there waiting to serve you should you decide to come in. Since they are on duty for you, you should tip them. They don't know if, or when, you are coming in.
2) The servers in the buffet are serving you when you dine there. They may not be your personal server but they are serving you nonetheless. They are making sure you have fresh food to select from. They are picking up your dishes. They are bringing you more tea. Somebody is serving you no matter where you eat.
You must understand there is a group on these boards who belive you must tip no matter what or when, it someone says hi to you , tip them,, if you walk by the pizza stand , tip them, etc . etc.
Personally I agree, why tip for Sat when you get off at 8 am, then the next bunch get on by noon, so they tip too for saturday, so saturday is a double tip day for staff I guess.
But, tip please , everyones says its the right thing to do. ( tongue firmly in cheek)
If at any point you question the point if not tipping for servcie not rendered then there are a few posters who like to throw the word " cheapskate" around. So even if you paid for your entire extended family to cruise with you , you are a " cheapskate" if you don't tip the maitre'd for smiling at you!
It was great to read your post pg! I feel exactly the same. The overtippers on this board seem to be bound and determined that everyone must tip the same as them. People overtip because they are scared of being called a cheapskate. I especially love how the 'standard' tip keeps creeping up so now even for bad service you must leave at least 15%. I can't believe anyone would tip for bad service but apparently some do! And you are absolutely right about being expected to tip everyone that smiles at you, whatever happened to just being nice without expecting a gratuity for it?
When we were at Dunns River Falls, we climbed the falls by ourselves but once one of the guides offered me his hand to get up a rock. I didn't really need it but since he offered I let him help me up. Of course that very same fellow was waiting at the top and said, "I help you, you pay me now", I told him that I thought he was just being nice. It makes you wonder whatever happened to just being nice.
Anyway I enjoyed reading your post.
The main difference to keep in mind between dining aboard-ship and dining at a restaurant on land is that the restaurant on land does not reserve an exclusive space for you to dine. Therefore, the restaurant fills seats in a round-robin fashion. Aboard-ship, however, you have a designated seat in the dining room. The server cannot have that seat filled by any other passenger, and therefore, as the earlier poster mentioned, is dependent exclusively on serving you in that seat. You decision to eat elsewhere does lighted that server's load a little, but again, there is no way that server can earn his money by filling your empty seat with another passenger.
For me, that'll mean that if I decide to eat at the buffet, I'll probably consider it a day of mediocre service at the dining room, in terms of how much I'd tip, splitting the difference with the server -- ensuring that my personal choice doesn't adversely affect him through no fault of his, while acknowledging in some small way that I'm not getting the service that I'd obstensibly be tipping for.
BTW, the cruise industry is a bit different than other parts of the hospitality industry in that 7-days means 7-nights, even though those seven days are spread among eight separate dates <grin>. (In the hotel industry, by contrast, 7-nights typically is interpreted as 8-days.)
While the buffet may be "serve yourself" it isn't without staff. The omlettes don't make themselves, a ship employee makes them. The food doesn't appear ala "Harry Potter" out of nowhere - servers keep the buffet stocked.
As others have said - 7 day cruise = 7 days of tipping - whatever that looks like to you as an individual.
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The tips are pooled for them by the cruiseline. You tip for the number of nights your cruise is a 7 night = 7 nights tips , and the same staff rotate to work in the buffets.
10 night= 10 nights tips. If someone removes the automatic tips that the line charges and hands out tips instead that money MUST be turned in and will be split up. the only way to leave extra to someone is to leave auto tipping on and then give them extra which they still must turn in but is then given back to them when they see you did not remove the auto tips from your bill.
These people are still working to serve you whether you are in the dining room or the buffet.
I wouldn't include the first or last day if you are not boarding until 6pm and will be getting off at 8am. That only gives you at most time for one meal (dinner on the first day and breakfast on the last day) and since the dining room is closed you will be serving yourself at the buffet anyway. I agree that you should tip the recommended amount (or more) on the other days (assuming service was satisfactory), but on the first and last day it doesn't seem like you will be receiving very much in the way of service.
Hey, how does this "designated seat" therory apply when you cruise Princess and have chosen PC dining. You get a different waiter each night, and you may in fact not even dine in the dining room at all( we met one couple who chose the Horizon Court each night!)
So technically a waiter( who perhaps is only so so) may have 50 seats filled one night in his section, and on another night it may only be 20.Yet he will get his cut of a pooled tip, then another waiter who is excellant and has cruisers request his section time and time again will also get the same amount.
I just don't think pooled tipping works at rewarding excellant service, I think it encourages mediocrasy( sp?) and it is only in place to eleviate the cruiselines need to pay a decent wage.